Originally Posted by Foiled Again
I just ordered a small water softener just so I don't have to use so much Barkeeper's Friend to keep the rust stains out of the shower and toilet bowl.
Since the stains are yellow, not rust-colored, the contaminant is probably not iron. Or rather, not entirely iron. It could be caused by "iron bacteria" a relatively harmless microorganism that is not
treated by a water softener.
The best solution to remove iron bacteria is chlorination. The sanitizing treatment that you periodically do to your freshwater system will kill iron bacteria, but that doesn't help to treat your drinking water. Trace amounts of chlorine (less than 4.0 ppm in the form of pure chlorine or chloramine, 0.8 ppm in the form or chlorine dioxide) is considered safe to drink, and as long as there is any
detectable chlorine in the water, iron bacteria will be killed. At the very least, before you leave the campgrounds that have iron bacteria in the well water, sanitize your freshwater system to make sure you're not carrying any iron bacteria to the next
Since you already have the water softener, there is another treatment for iron bacteria, slightly less effective than drinking chlorinated water. The water softener will help, but only if it's hooked up in series with a granular activated carbon pre-filter. In other words, use a large carbon filter and
the softener, with the water going through the carbon filter first. But still sanitize your system before moving to the next campground.